Start of the Third Year

Supporting the preservation and operation of paddle steamers Waverley and Kingswear Castle

Work started promptly of 4th January with 4 volunteers and on 11th January 9 people were working on the ship. Reasonably fine weather enabled outside tasks to be re-commenced.

Cold morning.|Margaret Scroggs
Well deck steelwork receives attention on 11th January. Note perforated plating.|Margaret Scroggs
Bridge steelwork receives attention on 11th January.|Margaret Scroggs

Restoration Log Book – Sunday 23 February 1975

  • World Ship Society (SE Branch) visit at 11.00 for about 1½ hours.
  • Further work carried out in bilges – scraping, cleaning and bitumen painting, Port and Stbd.
  • New volunteer arrived in the person of Mr Colin Harrison, gave valuable help in the bilges.

It was ‘in at the deep end’ for Colin. Far from being put off by the nature of the work, he continued with very frequent attendance, and soon played a leading role right up until the 1983 trials. A clergyman by profession, he was not an engineer, but he had the ability to ‘get stuck in’, organise stocks of tools and materials, and always welcome arrivals, old and new, with a smile and optimism.

From Paddle Wheels No. 50

PSPS AGM day – preparation gang gets photographed.|Margaret Scroggs

Some 50 members attended the Society’s annual general meeting aboard Kingswear Castle on March 22nd – the first occasion the event has been held on our own steamer. The forward saloon was made reasonably presentable and spacious for the event bearing in mind that for much of the time the accommodation has to serve as a workshop and stores space. Despite grey skies the KC looked most attractive, dressed overall and flying the PSPS houseflag from her mast. Members were welcomed aboard with a glass of sherry, It is doubtful whether so many people have been crowded into Kingswear Castle’s forward saloon since her last season on the Dart in 1965.

PSPS AGM day – preparation gang takes a break.|Margaret Scroggs
The tidied up forward saloon.|June Bushell

It takes a chair on the wheelhouse to fix the flags!|June Bushell
John Foat, always willing to help with a smile.|June Bushell
The Bushell sisters, Pat (sitting) and June.|Laurie Beal

In the Bigger Picture

At the other end of the country the return PS Waverley to service on the Clyde was stretching PSPS resources. The culmination of this mission was the inaugural sailings under the preservation banner in May 1975. Waverley was gifted for £1 to PSPS in 1974. Needless to say developments in Scotland were the subject of much discussion aboard KC with various views on funding for the two ships, benefits of increasing Society membership, and so on. Waverley had to start earning to survive, and fund raising to reach that position was high priority. PSPS continued to provide sufficient funding for KC, which had no immediate revenue earning potential. This covered essential berthing and materials needs.